DETROIT - Ford Division's new marketing chief is an outsider with impressive global and business-growth credentials.
George Murphy will arrive March 1 from GE Lighting in Cleveland to take the top marketing job at the auto industry's sales leader.
Murphy, 43, replaces Darryl Hazel as Ford Division's general marketing manager. Hazel has been named executive director of the Ford Customer Service Division for North America.
Murphy directed GE Lighting's huge growth in the Asia-Pacific region. He expanded the operation from 15 people in 1991 to 8,000 by 1994, pushing into the major markets of India, China, Korea and Japan. He then expanded GE's operations in Europe, particularly in the United Kingdom and Hungary.
Murphy leaves GE Lighting as vice president of worldwide product management, responsible for the company's range of consumer, commercial and industrial lighting. GE Lighting is one of 10 business units of General Electric Co., based in Fairfield, Conn.
At Ford Division, Murphy's responsibilities will involve only North American operations. He was not available for comment after Ford's announcement Thursday, Feb. 18.
Murphy brings marketing and operational experience needed for growth, whether in North America, Europe or Asia, said Ford Division spokeswoman Anne Doyle.
'The strategy, skills and goals are the same,' Doyle said. 'And today global experience is a plus on a resume in our business.'
Ford Motor Co. also is carrying out a global strategy for each of its six brands. 'What Ford Division does in North America needs to be consistent and aligned with the Ford brand all over the world,' Doyle said.
Murphy began his career at GE in 1988.
Before joining General Electric, Murphy worked for the senior vice president for U.S. operations for Coca-Cola Co. and for consultant Booz Allen & Hamilton, where he handled automotive and steel industry clients.
Ford has hired a number of key marketing executives from outside the company. They include James Schroer, who oversees global brand management; James Rogers, Lincoln Mercury general marketing manager; and David Ropes, director of corporate advertising and integrated marketing.